African Union praises call for Guinea-Bissau vote, says sanctions could be lifted

The African Union says it could lift sanctions against Guinea-Bissau as the country's leader promises elections later this year.

The West African country long destabilized by rebellions suffered its latest coup in April 2012.

Guinea-Bissau's interim leader is now pledging to organize elections before the end of the year though no date has been officially set.

Ouvídio Pequeno, the AU's permanent representative to Guinea-Bissau, on Thursday praised the latest political developments.

And he said the international community was ready to help Guinea-Bissau organize and carry out the vote.

Guinea-Bissau, used by drug traffickers to ferry cocaine to Europe, was just weeks away from a presidential runoff vote when the military coup took place last year.

No leader in nearly 40 years of independence has finished his term in office.